Rattlers (the)

The Rattlers – I Don’t Want You

Lost Moment LOM003 [1984]
I Don’t Want You – Hey Baby

Rattlers

Debut single for the Rattlers (Mark Carrington on vocals, Steve Davey on lead guitar, Nick Peck on slap bass and Graham Woodside on drums.) Both songs are originals.
A side is a good Rockabilly number with powerful slap bass and clean guitar, while B side shows some Psychobilly influences in the structure and the vocals.


The Rattlers – Scare Me to Death

Lost Moment Records – LMLP 001 [1984]
Scare Me To Death – Little Red  Mine All Mine  Kat Krept In  Hey Baby  Always Yours – Your my Baby – The Rattlin Boogie

Scare Me To Death

The Rattlers were formed in the early 1980s around Mark Carrington (vocals), Nick Peck (double bass), Steve Davey (guitar) and Graham Woodside (drums). In 1984, the group signed with Lost Moment Records and, in the wake, released their first 45 rpm. Shortly after, the Rattlers released their first album under the guidance of Boz Boorer (Polecats). Musically, the Rattlers sound like the turbulent little brothers of the Polecats (for Carrington’s voice) and the Deltas for the energy. The influence of the emerging Psychobilly scene can also be heard on their cover of You’re My Baby (also covered at the same time by Guana Batz). The group does not hesitate to cover songs more associated with the Glam scene (Cat Crept In by Mud or Always Yours by Gary Glitter). The Rattlin Boogie is an excellent instrumental with a second Les Paul-influenced guitar that bears Boz Boorer’s mark. Even though the band has an excellent guitarist and a powerful bassist, it’s sometimes a little chaotic, even shaky, but it always remains new and exciting, which is what Rock’n’roll should always be.


The Rattlers – Take A Ride

Lost Moment Records – LMLP 007 [1985]
Shake Your Money Maker  Knife Edge Baby  Life In A Coffin  Bloo Zoot  Gona Rock  007 Theme  Take A Ride  Mine All Mine  Bad Moon Rising  Blow Up Baby  She’s The One  Love Me  Bare Foot Nelly

Take A Ride

For their second album, the Rattlers are now playing as a trio. Steve Davey and Graham Woodside have both left the band. Robert Clarke is now the Rattlers’ guitarist, and Mark Carrington has moved to drums while continuing to provide vocals.
But these changes in no way affect the group’s energy and ability to play and compose excellent Neo-Rockabilly numbers.
Additionally, the band is produced by Paul Stewart, who knows how to get the most out of the trio. The production is perfect. The stripped-down quasi-acoustic sound of the double bass and drums (almost played without cymbals) contrasts wonderfully with Clarke’s inventive electric guitar. The group gets closer to the Deltas on certain songs (Bloo Zoot, Shake Your Money Maker) to switch, the next moment, to an instant Psychobilly classic (Life In A Coffin) before moving on to a Rockabilly Pop song (Gonna Rock) which, with a bit of promotion could almost have been a hit. The trio also offers an excellent version of the 007 Theme, recorded at Stewart’s suggestion because the group lacked songs to complete the album. Along the same lines, Blow Up Baby was composed in the studio, with each group member contributing to the writing.
Many Psychobilly and Neo-Rockabilly groups, from Meteors to Swamp Dogs via Stage Frite or Voodoo Dolls, have covered Bad Moon Rising (Creedence Clearwater Revival). Still, the Rattlers’ version is undoubtedly one of the best. Unfortunately, like many other bands before them, in fact, all except the Cramps, the Rattlers fail to recreate the energy and urgency of The Phantom’s Love Me. The album ends with Barefoot Nelly, a hillbilly/skiffle with banjo.


The Rattlers – Never Say Die

Nervous 052 [1989]
Crazy Love CLCD6494
Gone Forever – Cruisin` Around – For Your Love – She`s The One – Savin` It All For You – Loaded Dice – Leavin` You Behind – Never Say Die – The Man With The Twilight Eyes – For You No More – Forbidden Love – October Moon – Never Catch Me Again

The Rattlers - Never Say Die - Nervous
The Rattlers – Never Say Die – Nervous

The Rattlers formed in 1984. the band released various albums, singles, ep’s before splitting a couple of years later. Nick Peck (slap bassist) joined Paul Roman (Quakes) in Paul Roman and the Prowlers for a short time but soon re-frormed the Rattlers, with Doug Sheperd on guitar (formerly in Something Shocking and one time member of the Rattlers for the stage) and Doug McCarthy on drums. A deal was concluded with Nervous Records and they recorded “Never Say Die” with Pete Gage in 1989.
This album is really excellent and though the previous one were good it’s by far a more accomplished work (I believe that Gage is no stranger to that).
The core of the album is made of a majority of self penned neo-rockabilly numbers very well written with tight arrangement and a special care on the vocal harmonies. Peck is a more than competent singer too. A couple of songs border on psychobilly like the title track (superb) and Forbidden Love. At the exact opposite October Moon and Leavin’ You Behind find the band in a jazzy-rockabilly style similar to the Nitros.
The original pressing is now long out of print but it’s been reissue on cd by Crazy Love records and is also available as mp3 download.


The Rattlers – Face The Fact

Raucous Records RAUC 012
Face the Fact – Running / I Feel Fine – Waiting for You To Call

face the fact

After the resounding success of “Never Say Die,” the Rattlers continued their momentum with a new EP the following year. Produced by Boz Boorer (Polecats), the EP featured a new line-up with Alistair Dick on double bass, allowing Nick Peck to focus solely on vocals. The EP is well-produced and features fast-paced beats and catchy songs. “Face The Fact,” a composition by Boorer, showcases a melodic Neo-Rockabilly style, while “Running” leans more towards Psychobilly with its intense rhythm, raspy vocals, and contained rage.
Despite Peck’s somewhat imprecise singing, “I Feel Fine” works very well. It demonstrates how well the Beatles’ music lends itself to Neo-Rockabilly, following the likes of the Nitros, the Stringbeans, the Polecats, and Dave Phillips.
The EP concludes with “Waiting For You To Call,” driven by the lively drums of Doug Mc Carthy.


The Rattlers – Never A lost Moment

Lost Moment [1991]
Tear It Up – Mystery Train – She’s My Baby – Good Rockin’ Tonight – Rockhouse – Hey Baby – Ting-A-Ling – Little Red – Your My Baby – Walkin’ Whistlin’ Blues – I Don’t Want You – Mine All Mine – Dancin’ Doll – Your My Baby – Rattlin’ Boogie – Life in a Coffin – Take a Ride – Bad Moon Rising – Love Me – 007

The Rattlers - Never a lost moment
The Rattlers – Never a lost moment

What happens when a label wants to cash in on a band’s name? They gather early recordings (very early and much uninspired), poorly recorded live songs as well as a couple of outtakes and alternate takes and the result is a 20 song album that is barely audible. It’s a pity because the Rattlers were a good band and deserved a better treatment than this hastily made compilation. For hardcore fans only (but only them!).


The Rattlers – Live in Europe

Jungle Noise – APECALL 004 [1990]
Rock On – She’s the One – You’re My Baby – Face the Fact – Running – Life in a Coffin – My Way – For Your Love – Twilite Eyes – Waiting for You – Loaded Dice – Bad Moon Rising – I Feel Fine – Forbidden Love – Friday on my Mind – I’m ready – Never Catch Me Again – Little Red – King Creole – Oh Boy

The Rattlers recorded this live album in 1990 with the four-piece line-up of the band, which is the trio of Never say Die with new member Al Dick on bass, allowing Peck to concentrate on vocals.
With 20 songs, it’s a good value for money, though the majority of them are played at the same tempo, which tends to be slightly monotonous after 12 songs. Eight songs are originals while the remaining twelve come from Johnny Cash, Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran, Elvis, Creedence Clearwater Revival, the Easybeats, Garry Glitter, the Beatles and the Jackals, an American Rock’n’roll band that released one album on Nervous.
The sound is excellent, and the slap bass is very well recorded. It’s a nice addition to your Rattlers collection, though I prefer the studio recordings on which the vocals are better.


The Rattlers – Gangsters and loose Women

Count Orlock R.O.C.K. XII [1991]
Rock On – Change Your Mind – It’s All Over – What Have I Done? – The Chase – Ring On The Other Hand – Back Of My Hand – Through The Curtain – The Race Is On – Haunted Hill – Win Or Lose – Lux Luther Blues – She Don’t Love Me – Beat Out My Love – All The Tears – King Creole

the rattlers gangsters and loose women

With Gangster and Loose Women, the group moves from the neat Neo-Rockabilly of Never Say Die towards a lively and sometimes melodious Psychobilly. The compositions are quite good but, overall, lack a bit of variety both in rhythms and in sound.
Never Say Die benefited from Pete Gage’s presence and experience as a producer. He knew how to get the best out of the group, extending their style while renewing it. Here, the absence of a real producer (the album is produced by Sheperd, Peck, and the sound engineer) is cruelly felt.
Unfortunately, the songs all end up looking a bit similar, although some of the tunes stand out from the rest. We will note the excellent Lex Luther Blues (with harmonica), which recalls the first incarnation of the Rattlers, the acoustic and tuneful All the Tears (although a little weak in terms of vocals), the frantic and excellent The Chase (already released as a single) and a handful of others. But the album, which still contains sixteen tracks, ends up seeming long, which is a shame for a Rock’n’Roll album. The group would have been wiser to leave the often unnecessary covers (Rock On and King Creole being already present on the live album and Beat Out My Love that sounds terribly thin, especially compared to what the Cramps did of that same song) to have a tighter and ultimately more effective record.


Rattlers promo card
Rattlers promo card – first line-up
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